Early storm damage in eastern counties

Updated: Apr. 13, 2019 at 7:02 PM CDT
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TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Storm effects started early this morning in our eastern East Texas counties, as lightning strikes created fires and wind tore down trees.

Most of it started between 3-and-5 am this morning in Upshur, Gregg and Harrison counties.

Around 3 this morning trees began to topple over along FM 968 in Harrison county east of Longview.

Some coming down across the roadways , some down on houses.

Several areas of the road had to be cleared of trees, and some structures were damaged by wind and falling branches.

In Diana, a home off of highway 154 was struck by lightning catching the attic on fire.

"I was asleep and it sounded like a sonic boom, it was so loud. I started to smell smoke. I opened the garage door and it was just full of smoke," said the homeowner.

But the homeowners caught a break dialing 9-1-1, with a firefighter living nearby.

"Call came in at 4:38 this morning, a house struck by lightning. The homeowners smelled the smoke, found out where it was at got some extinguishers put on it. We were able to get a line in. Get some water on it and get it knocked down before it got any worse," said New Diana VFD assistant chief B.J. Hamilton.

In Longview, a half dozen units responded as lightning is suspected of striking a Holly Ridge lane home, setting the roof on fire leaving heavy damage before crews doused the flames.

No one was hurt in any of this damage.

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